It was the late 1930’s. The United States was just getting through the treacherous Depression. People were starting to frequent theaters again. They started feeling the stability of an economy with a somewhat stable foundation. America might have been in between wars, but there was still a war going on at home.
The racism that had permeated since the 1800’s was starting to regain concentration in the country. With people forgetting about the financial crisis, they were then able to focus again on “the problem” at home. Especially in the South, The Jim Crow Laws became common practice at public establishments. Restaurants, Schools, Buses, and even Doctors at Hospitals were segregated with the slogan that it was “separate but equal.”
Imagine it being 1965 and LBJ had just pushed Civil Rights deeming The Jim Crow Laws were unconstitutional. You are the governor of a state in the South, and decide to undergo a construction project to eliminate the segregated restroom facilities and drinking fountains in a few of your state parks. You draw up the plans, go over them with the necessary committees, and pass everything on to the construction crews hired for the project.
Everything seemed to be going fine until you hear the production has stopped at one of your parks. Then you get another call. Then another. By the end of the day, you hear that construction has stopped at every park you were working on. After talking to the construction companies you found out that the local mayors and townspeople are coming and telling the construction workers that you as the governor do not have the right to change their parks. You are shocked that these people are denying not just your authority, but the authority of the President as well.
Paul was in a similar situation when he penned this letter to the Galatians. Before the birth of the church, only the Israelites were seen as the People of God. After Jesus was resurrected though, it became something that was offered to everyone. Paul preached this message on his first journey when he met a group in Galatia. Most of the people who started following Jesus from there weren’t Jewish.
There was a Jewish group, however, that came from Jerusalem after Paul left. They are known as “Judaizers,” and they were telling these new believers that they had to become Jewish to really be a Christ Follower. These Jews said that Paul didn’t have the authority to tell the Galatians what the Gospel was. They were deceiving many of the Galatians into accepting their claims.
Paul hearing of this, sat down and wrote his first epistle, the letter to The Galatians.
“Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— and all the brothers who are with me,
“To the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:1-10